arm's length


Definition of arm's length

1 : a distance discouraging personal contact or familiarity kept former friends at arm's length now
2 : the condition or fact that the parties to a transaction are independent and on an equal footing

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Other Words from arm's length

arm's-length \ ˈärmz-​ˈleŋ(k)th How to pronounce arm's length (audio) , -​ˈlen(t)th \ adjective

Examples of arm's length in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The sleep-tracking feature, called Sleep Sense, uses the display's position an arm's length away from you to monitor your sleep and environmental conditions, as well as time in bed, via radar and sound. Hunter Fenollol, Popular Mechanics, 7 Oct. 2021 In northeast Minneapolis' arts district, a tall, lanky man with slate-colored, shoulder-length hair often wanders by the railroad tracks with his phone at arm's length, recording himself. Rachel Hutton, Star Tribune, 26 Apr. 2021 The second-year forward drew a foul on Gobert and his scoring play kept the Jazz at arm's length over the final two minutes. John Coon, Star Tribune, 17 June 2021 Created by the Dodd-Frank Act, the bureau is part of and funded largely by the Federal Reserve System, putting it at arm's length from Congressional oversight. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 26 July 2021 En route to their eighth win in 10 home games this postseason, the Suns grabbed an 11-point halftime lead and kept the Bucks at arm's length throughout the final 24 minutes. Reuters, CNN, 9 July 2021 And, bluntly, in the long-term, that will likely mean keeping Washington at an arm's length on many key issues. Luke Mcgee, CNN, 19 June 2021 Despite the frequent comparisons to Trump, Johnson sometimes kept the former President at arm's length. Maegan Vazquez, CNN, 10 June 2021 Robinson hit a trio of big baskets in the fourth quarter that kept the Hornets at arm's length. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arm's length.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arm's length

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for arm's length

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The first known use of arm's length was in 1655

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Arm's length.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for arm's length

arm's length


Legal Definition of arm's length

: the condition of the parties to a business deal in which each has independent interests and one does not dominate the other often used in the phrase at arm's length a contract made at arm's length

Other Words from arm's length

arm's-length adjective


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